Democrats in Virginia's state legislature are vowing to boycott a ceremony in Jamestown later this month celebrating the 400th anniversary of representative government in the country if President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE attends the event.
The leaders of the Virginia House and Senate Democratic caucuses issued a statement Friday night slamming Trump and maintaining they may not note show up amid reports that the president was expected to attend the commemorative session.
"We will not be attending any part of the commemorative session where Donald Trump is in attendance. The current President does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the western world," the Democrats said.
“We offer just three words of advice to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation: ‘Send Him Back,’” added the statement from Virginia Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw and caucus Chairwoman Mamie Locke along with House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn and caucus Chairwoman Charniele Herring.
The statement underscored the political uproar in recent days over tweets that Trump sent last weekend targeting four minority, freshman congresswomen, controversy punctuated by chants of "send her back" when Trump mentioned one of the Democrats during a rally this week.
Democrats have hammered Trump over his recent comments about the group of female lawmakers, known as "the squad," and the Democratic-led House voted Tuesday night to formally rebuke the remarks as racist.
The White House has not officially declared any plans for the president to attend the 400th anniversary event in Jamestown, which Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Of partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) was also invited to attend, organizers said. The invitation was extended by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and two Republican state lawmakers.
"The invitations were extended jointly by Governor Northam, Speaker [Kirk] Cox [R], and Senator [Tommy] Norment [R] last year. Speaker Pelosi’s office declined the invitation within the last two weeks. The White House has made no announcement regarding the President’s plans,” American Evolution, which is putting on the event, said in a statement Saturday.
The July 30 event marks the 400th anniversary of "representative government in America," the statement noted. Both Trump and Pelosi were invited "to participate in commemorative ceremonies" for the event, organizers said.
The ceremonies mark the 400th anniversary of the first meeting of the House of Burgesses, a legislative body created in Jamestown in 1619 to oversee issues surrounding the colony.
The Virginia Democrats' rebuke of Trump referenced the chant of "send her back" that erupted during the president's rally in North Carolina this week in the middle of his diatribe against Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats eye potential carbon price in reconciliation bill MORE (D-Minn.), a naturalized U.S. citizen who came to the country as a refugee from Somalia.
The president first sparked controversy when he said Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezMcCarthy on Dems' spending bill: 'The amount of money we spent to win World War II' On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress MORE (D-N.Y.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHaitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes Advocates 'in utter disbelief' after Biden resumes Haitian repatriations Democratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels MORE (D-Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.) should "go back" to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” The three lawmakers other than Omar were born in the U.S., and four are citizens.
The House formally condemned the remarks as racist in a 240-187 vote on Tuesday as Democrats seized on the controversy. Republicans expressed frustration about the remarks but mostly avoided directly criticizing the president.
The controversy was renewed Wednesday night with the chant against Omar. Though Trump disavowed the chant Thursday, saying he “was not happy with it,” he later said the chanters “love our country” and called them "patriots."